The Platform

From a design perspective, Carrizo is the biggest departure to AMD’s APU line since the introduction of Bulldozer cores. While the underlying principle of two INT pipes and a shared FP pipe between dual schedulers is still present, the fundamental design behind the cores, the caches and the libraries have all changed. Part of this was covered at ISSCC, which we will also revisit here.

On a high level, Carrizo will be made at the 28nm node using a similar silicon tapered metal stack more akin to a GPU design rather than a CPU design. The new FP4 package will be used, but this will be shared with Carrizo-L, the new but currently unreleased lower-powered ‘Cat’ core based platform that will play in similar markets for lower cost systems. The two FP4 models are designed to be almost plug-and-play, simplifying designs for OEMs. All Carrizo APUs currently have four Excavator cores, more commonly referred to as a dual module design, and as a result the overall design will have 2MB of L2 cache.

Each Carrizo APU will feature AMD’s Graphics Core Next 1.2 architecture, listed above as 3rd Gen GCN, with up to 512 streaming processors in the top end design. Memory will still be dual channel, but at DDR3-2133. As noted in the previous slides where AMD tested on DDR3-1600, probing the memory power draw and seeing what OEMs decide to use an important aspect we wish to test. In terms of compute, AMD states that Carrizo is designed to meet the full HSA 1.0 specification as was released earlier this year. Barring any significant deviations in the specification, AMD expects Carrizo to be certified when the final version is ratified.

Carrizo integrates the southbridge/IO hub into the silicon design of the die itself, rather than a separate on package design. This brings the southbridge down from 40nm+ to 28nm, saving power and reducing long distance wires between the processor and the IO hub. This also allows the CPU to control the voltage and frequency of the southbridge more than before, offering further potential power saving improvements.  Carrizo will also support three displays, allowing for potentially interesting combinations when it comes to more office oriented products and docks. TrueAudio is also present, although the number of titles that support it is few and the quality of both audio codecs and laptop speakers leaves a lot to be desired. Hopefully we will see the TrueAudio DSP opened up in an SDK at some point, allowing more than just specific developers to work with it.

External graphics is supported by a PCIe 3.0 x8 interface, and the system relies on three main rails for voltage across the SoC which allows for separate voltage binning of each of the parts. AMD’s Secure Processor, with cryptography acceleration, secure boot and BitLocker support are all in the mix.

AMD Launches Carrizo: The Laptop Leap of Efficiency Efficiency and Die Area Savings
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  • SilthDraeth - Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - link

    It is sad that AMD struggles so much. I bought an HP with 1366x768, ie budget screen on most retail laptops, and an AMD A10-4600 and it plays games like Dirt 3, and stuff just fine. I haven't installed a ton of games on it. But it certainly out performs any mobile i5 or i7 that didn't have dedicated graphics card.

    I really hope Carrizo kicks off, and finally AMD gets some love.
    Reply
  • meacupla - Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - link

    1366x768 screens is one of the very issues that plagues AMD mobile chips. Reply
  • monstercameron - Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - link

    So true, amd needs some kind of program to prevent oem from shipping 13*7 screens with certain socs. Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - link

    1366x768 is fine in like sub 11.6-inch devices. Broadwell GT3e essentially has a stronger GPU so AMD needs to learn it's no selling point. They can't do much until they have a stronger CPU any way so both IGP and decent dGPU (switchable or whatever) makes sense with their chips. AMD chips is essentially still too weak to drive 7970m GPUs from 2012. Plus the only decent design win for mobile GCN is the new MacBook Pro 15, switchable graphics needs to be okay with Windows and Intel CPU/IGP's too. Do a shrink to 16/14 nm and make drivers that makes that happen and they should be decent enough though. Reply
  • BillyONeal - Wednesday, June 03, 2015 - link

    1. GT3e is a 28W part; this is a 15W part. 2. GT3e is a part that costs over 3 times as much. (I'm not saying I'd buy the thing; I'm saying we need to be fair to AMD here :) ) Reply
  • Taneli - Wednesday, June 03, 2015 - link

    GT3e starts at 47W. GT3 (without Crystalwell) is available with dual core cpu in 15W (HD6000) and 28W (HD6100). Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, June 03, 2015 - link

    GT3 is essentially stronger without eDRAM too though. Reply
  • albert89 - Thursday, June 04, 2015 - link

    I'd have to agree people arnt reading the stat's correctly. Broadwell beats Kaveri by a few points yet costs between one and a half and three times as much. The price of Intel APU are moving farther than the performance. And it wouldn't surprise me if Carrizo out performs Broadwell in 6 out of 10 games and that's all at 28nm !!!!! Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, June 04, 2015 - link

    Actually when you will be able to get a Broadwell laptop (or SFF machine) for the same price, what's the point? Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, June 06, 2015 - link

    List price for a 15W GT3 Broadwell is no more then 315 USD. Should be faster or as fast as a top-end Kaveri in game benchmarks. Is available in 370 USD NUC's barbones and soon it's in 600 dollar laptops. How much is it for a Kaveri FX-laptop? Probably a lot, and most Intel parts at least GT2+ SKU's of Haswell and Broadwell is faster than the A10 Kaveri in laptops any way. The jump from 500 to 600-700 USD just gives you a much faster notebook that's just much stronger than a Kaveri A10-device overall and even FX-7600P isn't really strong enough to game on. Carrizo doesn't really change that. AMD's numbers for 3dmark 11 on the 15W parts is on par with Iris graphics and discrete HD 7750M or 940M+ would be faster any way and is found in cheap laptops. Reply

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